Bayer formally announced the launch of a new business unit focusing on raw materials for powder coatings.

NEW YORK — Bayer Corp. formally announced the launch of a new business unit focusing on raw materials for powder coatings, and said the unit’s creation reflects a strategic plan to significantly expand the company’s global position in the market for powder-coatings resins and crosslinkers.

At a news conference in New York, Bayer Executive Vice President John L. Williams said the launch of the company’s new Global Powder Coatings Business Group is a result of Bayer’s recent acquisition of RUCO Polymers, a major North American supplier of polyester powder-coatings resins. RUCO was a subsidiary of Sybron Chemicals Inc., which Bayer acquired late last year.

RUCO’s resin product line, combined with Bayer’s crosslinker products, gives Bayer a markedly expanded product line for powder coatings and greater geographic reach, said Williams, who also is president of the company’s Coatings and Colorants Division. He noted that RUCO holds a strong position in the North American powder-coatings resins market, while Bayer possesses global manufacturing and marketing reach in other key coatings raw-materials segments.

Williams also announced the appointment of Bayer executive Randall S. Dearth to head the Powder Coatings Business Group. Dearth, formerly director of Marketing for Bayer’s Coatings and Colorants Division, said Bayer is “committed to being a much bigger player in the market.”

Bayer executives said the new powder business will be based in North America, a move that reflects the importance of the RUCO acquisition. Resin manufacturing will continue to be based at RUCO’s production site in Columbus, GA, with crosslinker manufacturing remaining at a Bayer site near the company’s Leverkusen, Germany, headquarters. Williams said production expansions are anticipated at both manufacturing locations.